Teacher preparation, programming, and instruction are a part of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) ongoing commitment to ensure that all students beginning in Prekindergarten attain the highest level of academic success and become college, career, and civic ready. It is part of the Department’s mission to ensure that all State-administered Prekindergarten students, regardless of program location, have the same opportunity to attend a high-quality prekindergarten program taught by educators who hold proper credentials.
On January 9, 2023, the Board of Regents formally amended Commissioner’s Regulations Section 151-1.3(e) to further clarify staffing qualifications of eligible agencies who partner with a public school district for the provision of prekindergarten services. These changes in the Regulations impact eligible agencies, and the purpose of this memo is to further clarify eligible agency staffing requirements. Please see below for guidance regarding such requirements.
Eligible Agency PreK Teacher Staffing Requirements
Teachers at eligible agencies, at minimum, must either
- Have a New York State Certification valid for service in the early childhood or childhood grades or students with disabilities in early childhood grades OR
- A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
If teachers at an eligible agency do not meet either of the criteria listed above:
- Teachers must meet the hiring requirements of the agency that oversees them (i.e., the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the New York City Department of Healthand Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), charter schools, non-public schools), AND
- The school district must submit a Staffing Qualifications Waiver to the Department as part of the annual State-Administered Prekindergarten application which indicates thenumber of teacher(s) not meeting the minimum staffing qualifications as identified above by September 1st each year. AND
- The agency must employ an on-site education director who is responsible for program implementation and is on-site during the hours in which prekindergarten services are provided.
Eligible Agency On-Site Director Requirements
Unless all universal prekindergarten teachers at an eligible agency site possess a teaching license or certificate valid for services in the early childhood or childhood grades, the agencies operating such programs should employ an on-site education director during the hours the prekindergarten program runs. If one or more teachers from the eligible agency does not have certification in the early childhood grades, an on-site director is required and is responsible for program implementation.
If the on-site director does not have the required certification, the agency must employ an on-site education director who has the following:
- At a minimum, a bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood education, AND
- Have a study plan to become certified within 5 years upon the start date of their appointment of an on-site director.
- These study plans must be submitted to the district, who will submit to NYSED a District Oversight plan by October 31st of each school year through the NYSED Business Portal’s Monitoring and Vendor Performance System (MVPS).